I have bought many cases, all of them ok. My favorite case so far would have to be the iSkin Revo. After using all of these cases, I decided that I just wanted to use the iPhone with nothing covering up it's looks. So since I usually carry it in my pocket, I bought one of the ShieldZone.com guards. It's just this really strong plastic film that covers the back and front of the phone. Some people say it doesn't cover the chrome around the screen but mine does. I like it because I can put it in my pocket and feel safe that it isn't going to scratch up the back. I didn't use the shield on the screen though, for that I have one of the crystal films from the apple store. I like the feel of it better.
Pls do not fall victim to the infamous PC Magazine "keys" test. ...Yes, the iPhone is pretty scratch-resistant, esp in comparison to previous iPod's. But I've read too many sad accounts from devastated people who either scratched their cases, or screens, or just dropped their iPhones and shattered the glass... And if you ask me, the iPhone is like a bar of soap, albeit a beautiful one. If you aren't careful it can flip/slip out of your hand and obey the law of gravity... It may survive the trip unscathed, but then again it may not...
I share your desire to not hide the beauty of the device. But, I would urge you to use a minimal case, and keep the whole assembly in some kind of protective bag. Although I keep my iPhone in a Vaja Top Holster (covers the screen when not in use), my nieces use the straight 'Vaja Holster' that hides nothing (i.e., doesn't detract from the device) and really complements the phone. But they keep them in Vaja leather bags when stored, so that they don't get easily scratched.
Unfortunately, Vaja is the only case I know of that holds the iPhone in this minimalist way. It is not, I repeat NOT a bulky cover... Now, if you aren't up for the cost, perhaps someone else could chime in with another alternative...
Hope this helps...
A case is definitely a matter of personal preference. Some people like to cover the iPhone in silicone or hard plastic, while some like the look of the phone and don't want to make it all bulky and lame.. although they are risking an easier chance of damage.
I prefer the clean look of my iPhone and don't want to add bulk and make it look gaudy, but I did want a case to carry it around in... I wanted one that I could remove the phone from completely for use but would also offer protection while in the case..
I was using a nutshell case for my previous phone (a Treo 650) and the model they make for the iPhone is great! These cases are handmade from leather and have lots of options for customization.
Give it a look, it works great for me..(Vaja cases look slick too)
I bought a Monaco case to put my phone it. It fits wonderfully, and i don't worry about scratching my phone at all. It's got a plastic sheet that covers the face of the phone, and doesn't change the touch features at all. I would buy it again in a heartbeat. Yes it covers the sleekness of the iPhone, but I feel safer with a case on my phone then without.
I honestly don't use the clip, as I prefer to keep my phone in my pocket. This case allows you to use it with or without the clip as the connecter screws into the back of the case. Just looking at the clip, it does seem to me that it would be easy to use. The clip is stiff, so I'm guessing that would keep it attached to your clothes better. And it's got a quick release button, so that is a help. It's not a ratcheting clip though, so that might turn off some. As I said though and has been so well put. It's like a safe for your phone. And oddly enough I do have it in pink. Although I believe it's available in several colors, at least from the site I bought it through. It's a little on the expencive side, but in relation to the cost of the phone, worth it.
My first case was a Belkin acrylic case which I do not recommend. I found the case to scratch the back of the phone. Based on recommendations from this forum I bought a Case Mate case and holster. Very nice. Check 'um out. http://www.case-mate.com/phones/apple
My husband uses an Incase Folio and loves it. He keeps it hooked to his belt all day for easy access. The phone is protected while in the case, but you still get the joy of the "naked iPhone" when you take it out. It's fairly small and unobtrusive when attached to your belt since it sits sideways or landscape. Click the link to see a picture.
I use the Incase Fitted Sleeve. Yes, it adds a little bulk to the sleek design of the iPhone but I feel more confident handling it in the sleeve - much less slippery. I keep my phone in an interior pocket of my purse by itself to further protect it. Maybe that's overkill, since it does seem to be fairly sturdy. Here's a link to the Incase Fitted Sleeve.
We both have Crystal Film over the touch screen. I would highly recommend it. I put it on the moment I took my phone out of the box. As long as you get it attached with no air bubbles (takes some careful work), you will not even notice it is there but you will have peace of mind. While I'm at it, here's a link to Crystal Film.
I know I sound like a commercial. I'm really not an Apple employee - I just play one on TV! Enjoy your iPhone!
I have used 2 cases so far. For a few weeks I used it with only a clear skin covering the whole phone. Now I have the skin and a Speck Toughskin, I like the toughskin because it provides grip. Each day I remove the phone from the speck toughskin and wash the toughskin in hot water and soap to remove any grit or sand. If sand were to sneak in it would not harm the phone due to the clear film covering the entire phone.
The best skin ever is the same as a few other products, but the price is much lower. All these skins are simply a precision cut of a 3M protective plastic material used on automobiles and aircraft leading edges.
So, in my opinion at the very least spend the $7.99 on the total body skin from best skins ever.
I bought this accessory and it works great:
It is soft on the inside, so it will not scratch your phone.